Print version ISSN 0120-0739
VALLEJO, Martha Isabel et al. Current status and perspectives of palm heart production from Euterpe oleracea Mart. (Arecacea), at the Pacific Coast of Colombia: estado atual e perspectivas. Colomb. for. [online]. 2011, vol.14, n.2, pp. 191-212. ISSN 0120-0739.
We provide a synthesis of the history of palm heart extraction from the palm Euterpe oleracea at the southern Pacific coast of Colombia, and a diagnosis of the current status of its harvest, based on a detailed documentation of its value chain. The study included semi-structured interviews and participant observation with the various stakeholders. The value chain is composed of four segments: harvest, stocking, processing, and marketing. After 30 years of palm harvest, the system is still purely extractive, depending on the natural availability of the resource, and on the will of harvesters to provide raw material to the canning plants. In spite of the biological and ecological advantages of this dominant cespitose palm, detailed studies of the impact of current practices on populations are still lacking. Palm heart extraction has a high social and economic impact in the region, representing an important income for many families. Good relationships among the canning enterprise, harvesters, and local environmental authority have been determinant for the survival of the activity. However, the whole process must be strategically and financially strengthened, in order to solve current organizational, economic and social problems involved in this activity.
Keywords : Pacific Coast of Colombia; Euterpe oleracea; naidí; palm-heart; production; extraction; use.